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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I took the new rig (dubbed Yellow Bird by my wife in honor of her favorite drink) up to Truckee Ca for a couple days of trails & fire roads. Some very quick observations and, I will reiterate that these are only opinions based on very limited time in the machine...and they are OPINIONS


It's significantly taller than my Wildcat and you sit up higher. Not Mav or XP tall, but definitely higher seat height than the Wildcat.

Good leg room. Steering wheel somehow feels small. I think it's because of the relationship between the seat and controls.

It is pretty intuitive. I loaded it up and drove it to the trail head and the fun began. I left the owners manual at home (and there was no introduction / indoctrination at dealership). Gear shifter is right there. Up & down. Clutch is very short throw. I didn't use it much. Just slammed the gears.

The machine is way choked up. I can so easily see how 10hp is possible out of a full exhaust setup. All you can hear when driving is the gearbox. And it is loud. In fact it seemed to get louder after 50 miles. I never really heard the exhaust note. The headers are puny. Speaking of, putting a full system on this thing should take all of 10 minutes. That is such a welcome thought after fighting my V twin for 3 hours to get the Yosh on my cat.

That brings me to a significant observation in my world: accessibility. This machine is going to be a dream to work on. Without that damned CVT there is nothing getting in the way of the in-line triple. I almost refuse to work on my cat because of the horrific design. You damn near have to take the whole body off just to access a spark plug. I remember installing a fuel controller on that SXS and it was like 60 body plugs n bolts. The Yamaha is so well thought out as far as access panels. In fact I think I'll change the oil on it tomorrow. You know, for shits n giggles. Seriously, I think it might actually be FUN to work on it.

The suspension is STIFF. Wow. I'll hold off on that criticism until it is broken in. It did handle big hits good today but I had my wildcat with me (Elka's) and kept trying both machines back to back. The cat was better over rough stuff. The turning was very reassuring on the YXZ. It stuck in lines on turns where my cat tends to float a bit. It also turned way sharper of a radius and it was like butter. I have the Pace upgraded full link steering and it still is not nearly as good as the YXZ. In my experience I've never driven anything that turns easier in SXS form. You will be impressed.

Gearing... Let me get back to you on that. I'm on my iPad and I hate typing on it. TBC. Be back after the game is over
 

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Well did you do a drag with the kitty and yxz?
 

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Can't wait to here about going slow. Taking in the scenery, drinking beer and carrying on a conversation. Big group trail rides 5-10mph , lots of stop and go.
From what I've seen so far I should keep waiting for Yamaha to make me a machine for this. This is how I ride 50% of the time. The other 50% is BALLS to the walls. My RZR works fine but I really want a Yamaha.

Your thoughts are appreciated .
 

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Congrats on the new ride and thank you for sharing with us I can't wait to see your full review :D
 

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Hopefully they put oil in your gear box. Is it the gear box or diff? I know the old Commanders had straight cut gears in the rear diff & it was loud as hell, unbearable over 40mph. I hope the Yamaha isn't that way or I will pass on it.
 

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The YXZ has straight cut gears in the tranny. Strong but very loud.
 

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The stiff suspension may be a deal breaker for us.
We've bought several new Yamaha products in the past 2 years and had to spend some bank on getting the suspension somewhat correct.

Why Yamaha stiffens their suspensions so bad puzzles us.

One of their advertising videos even calls it a plush ride.
So maybe adjustments will help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay...gearing...

I had no problems lugging it around slow turns or going over moderate obstacles but, and take this for what its worth, it is not a rock crawler in stock form. First gear will get you over things kind of slowly but there will be some stalls. It's just geared to tall in my opinion. Understand though, I am an avid rock crawler on the Rubicon trail here in Placer/Eldorado County. My jeep is geared pretty low with a 4:1 transfer case and 5:38's in the axles. I like my stuff to crawl. The YXZ is not a crawler. At all. I don't know if Yamaha has plans to offer different ring gears but that may be a fix (or if the aftermarket wants to jump in there). I mean, don't get me wrong, the thing will handle slow trails and mud but I would not enjoy a long ride with fallen trees or big boulders to tackle. Perhaps in the right hands, it will do just fine. Sorry if that's not what you want to hear.

While I'm putting frowns on peoples faces, we may as well get the power conversation over too. I was not terribly impressed with the power in the first 50 miles. I think there may be a conflict in that I have not driven a stock car in a very long while. The only thing I can compare the YXZ to is my Wildcat in stock trim a couple years ago. The Yammie has more power than I remember the Wildcat having, no doubt. But I swear it is very deceiving because this motor makes such little noise at the exhaust that you have to train your ear to listen past the running gear and focus on the actual engine harmonics. The triple wants to perform for you at the upper reaches of the RPM zone and often the only way I knew it was where it needed to be was to actually look at the display. Since the engine was brand new, I decided not to bounce it off the limiter as I would normally. I think the price tag forced the grown-up to the surface a bit. I did find it had decent power at 7000-8500 but never found the sweet spot. If I am going to be honest, it felt a little flat; no WOW moment. No hitting the power band. Decent power once you got up to 6000 and beyond but more rounded than abrupt. I won't lie and tell you I ended the day with a ear to ear grin in the power department. However, it is very early on in the love affair and I am confident there is more; strike that...MUCH more to be had in the HP department. I will add that I am disappointed whole-heartedly in the exhaust package they chose for this machine. If you have ever ridden a YZF 450, you know they have a decent pipe/silencer package right out of the box. Even the WR with a sparky aint that bad and both systems help in the power arena, not hinder. I presume they wanted this machine to exceed emission standards and be sure it was equipped with a spark arrestor, but I think they left a lot on the table by going totally CARB compliant with emissions features like cats, etc.

Let me explain why this is so important to me; a less restricted exhaust system is not just a power thing to me. It's a sensory kind of thing. I honestly need to hear the engine working as much as feel it. I have to know when this thing is in its groove in order to choose the right second to shift, how many gears to chose in a single down shift, and how much clutch, if any, will be required in each event. Without that, I'm just banging gears in search of the happy place. I found myself struggling to find rhythm with this thing today while in some nastier sections of trails with switch backs and ascents. Track time was an even greater struggle. Again, this is not a shifting problem, it is an engine note problem. People who get one will instantly know what I'm saying. With a shifter, hearing the engine is critical.

Now, for some really REALLY good stuff:

Shifter. HAHAHA. I know, all that crap I just wrote seems counter intuitive to this but I am here to tell you, having control over the gear box is a very big deal. There is no doubt that I was getting around the track much quicker having more precise control over my power delivery as opposed to the very brief delay that comes with a CVT. This is only going to get better.

Doors. These things are so much better than anything I've seen in the SXS industry to date.

Display. It's as good as I've seen and better than my Z1 unit.

Fuel economy. So far. This will change when I cut off that Y Zinger exhaust. But I could not get through a full tank in 1.5 days.

Trunk space. HUGE. FLATBED

Plastic. I love that all the body panels are segmented and easily replaced in small sections. Reminds me of my Losi FiveT :)

Cockpit. This was probably the one thing that stood out most from my first ride. It is like sitting in a sport coupe with contoured seating and ergonomics. It looks good and it feels secure. Driving it enhances that feeling.

Line of sight. Great vision ahead and to peripheral. I also like that you can look back and not have major obstructions. But I still don't know why these things don't come standard with a rearview mirror.

Stability. I whipped this thing into drifts at 50 mph with compete confidence on day 1. I didn't get that in other vehicles. I also hit jumps at speed while turning and it handled them predictably. Not crazy fast, but enough to turn your knuckles white. I didn't experience any body roll which I will logically attribute to that stiff suspension I complained a little about.

Basically, just all the typical fit & finish items are really impressive. If I were to try to find one word that describes what I saw it would probably be 'thick'. Everything just seemed thicker on this car than the others. The plastic, the steering wheel, the levers, the switches, latches, shock shafts, etc.. Most of it EXCEPT for the half shafts. Those things look like tooth picks. I just don't understand that.

Anyway, I said I'd give you guys some thoughts today when I got back. I'm sure there's much I'm forgetting but I'm tired and calling it a night. Sorry if you don't like something you've read. It's just my observations and perhaps a little presumption. Oh well. Take it or leave it. Just one's guys experience.

I'm glad to have it in the stable.
 

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One thing to keep in mind with the Yamaha triples is that it can take quite a few miles before they make full power. Lots of the Vector & Nytro owners (myself included) kept seeing RPM gains until 500-700 miles. I wouldn't be overally concerned about that right now.

Thanks for the review. I really wanted a YXZ and had plans to ge one until I saw the transmission gear ratios. Way too tall for any kind of consistent day to day rock crawling or mud use. Let alone adding 30's and any kind of weight in the bed.

I'll either be keeping my Ranger or getting a Wolverine.
 

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What a refreshing review, thanks for not sugar coating it. Most new owners would say" man it's awesome dude...everything I ever wanted ". I like how in tune you are with the car, I'm the same way, I like to feel the engine and listen to it too. I figured the YXZ would be a capable trail machine but not so much a slow speed champ. It's hard to beat a belt drive for inching along. Now if adding tall tires and weight, the rubber bands don't do as well without clutch mods. Now I'm curious to see if the aftermarket will have a solution for this slow speed issue. Thanks again for the nice write up and enjoy the new ride!
 

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Thank you rpmaddict for the interesting review, I totally agree with you when it comes to exhaust note, that's why I was planning to go with Dasa or Wellers system. I need 1 more favor from you which is stock for stock race with xp1k or turbo video and some dunes video if that possible.

Other then that, thanks and enjoy your new toy

Sowyer.
 

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Also I wouldn't be surprised if the bigger "wow" power dosnt come on till it's closed to 10,000 rpm. I know when I took my buddy's R6 out I thought the same thing, then I held the gear till 10,000 and holy shit that thing took off..pulled like a bastard.
 

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Nice write up man everyone has been waiting for that.
It sounds to me the YXZ did pretty much what it's supposed to do. :)

You'll have to play with the clickers when you have time...you'll prob be able to get the suspension more to your liking.

Makes sense on the exhaust and shifting...you gotta be able to be one with the machine. Extra power is never a bad thing either as long as it's not too loud. I doubt you'll see a ton more power as the motor breaks in but I'll cross my fingers for you.

Thanks again...it sounds like she'll be a blast at Hatfield McCoy and I know she will be on my track. Woot!
 

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Thanks for your real world impressions. Those of us wanting the slow speed crawling ability AND the power/ speed/suspension capabilities will just to wait for what's next, or be prepared to mod the YXZ. That being said, I really do hope what's next has the same engine and manual transmission with either the addition of a low range sub-trans or a bulldog first gear. I'd be thrilled with either. I know Yamaha has the best CVT in the industry reliability wise, bar none , but really hope they don't go that route with the Trail/Crawler/Mudder car. And I hope it is based on the YXZ chassis and not the Wolverine. I have nothing against the Wolvie, it's great for what it was intended for ( though it would benefit from a different engine/increased power) but there are MANY of us who want a far more racy/ sporty trail machine and I really hope Yamaha realizes this..
 

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Thanks for the best review I've seen to date RPM! It's always bugged me to hear the motor over the exhaust so I guess a complete system will be a must add for me early on.
 

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Hi rpmaddict, congratulations and thank you for your review! Where did you purchase your YXZ, I'd like to see one in person. Thanks!
 

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Thanks for the review. Much appreciated . I'll be sticking with the RZR until the next model comes out. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
 
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